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September 20, 2016 (Updated: January 24, 2023)
Regardless of the profession or project, a job will never be done right without the proper tools. You wouldn’t trust your mechanic to fix your car without a flashlight or pressure gauge, and you wouldn’t trust a contractor to build a home without a hammer and nails. You should also say the same for content marketing. You might be able to run a campaign with the bare necessities, but the right tools can help you scale out, take control, and improve your results. Discover the various items needed to succeed and how you can use them successfully for content marketing.
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Companies have distinctive schedules for their blogs. Some publish several times a day, while others only post a few times per month. Social media networks operate similarly. However, even blogs that publish only once a week — even if it’s on the same day and time every week — need to maintain an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars keep track of so much more than the publish date. They also highlight content categories, ideas, and the authors. With these calendars, your team can keep track of what is going live, not just when. As your blog grows, your content manager will be able to stay organized with a reliable calendar.
We recommend Google Calendars as a good starting point, but you can also find visual tools on Trello and Evernote for managing your publishing schedule.
Even if you don’t use an editorial calendar for your blog, you need to have some form of organization on social media. No one wants to stay hooked up to the computer on the weekend making sure posts go out or sit at home at night scrolling through Twitter. Even if you’re posting during the workday, you can’t simply stop what you’re doing every day at the exact time you plan to share something.
Instead, consider using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite; these resources allow brands to schedule posts in advance. This scheduling works great if you have weekend news or will be traveling for a few days, since you can leave your account knowing it’s going to keep working for you.
Editing software such as Grammarly is a great option for self-editors who need a second set of eyes and overworked editors who might miss a typo or poorly worded phrase. Microsoft and Google Spell Check can find many issues, but Grammarly dives deeper and looks for wordiness and commonly misused words. Many blog managers swear by Grammarly before they publish anything.
As your blog continues to grow, you will need to make notes and track your edits. Some bloggers switch from Microsoft Word to Google Docs (or vice versa) depending on their needs. Google Docs allows multiple people to edit a piece at once, which is ideal for collaboration, while Word lets editors lock changes until they can be approved. If you go back and forth with your writers through multiple drafts before posting a perfect article, then finding the right platform can make your life easier.
Influencer marketing involves connecting with industry peers that have large social circles and building relationships through shared content. You might use your blog to reach out to an influencer for a quote or interview, or you may ask influencers to share some of your top content. BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding top content and the influencers that share it.
With BuzzSumo, you can look up articles, videos, and infographics published in the past year. This company’s algorithm lists content pieces by most shares, so you can see what news went viral and what audiences react strongly to online. As you find these top articles, you can see who shared them and the accounts with the largest audience. These are your influencers, the ones you want to reach out to with your content.
When you see what has worked in the past, you can create something that resonates in the future. You can also take big ideas and break them out into multiple in-depth concepts, or you can take a high-level article and conduct a deep dive. BuzzSumo has quickly become the go-to tool for content marketers.
Both WordPress and Facebook have analytics tools where content managers can catch a glimpse of their progress and make sure their content is growing over time. Analytics make a great start for people who aren’t familiar with the world of analytics but want to make sure they’re on the right track.
If you’re looking to conduct research on your audience and learn where your traffic is coming from, then look no farther than Google Analytics. This tool sorts your audience by interest and demographic, while reporting on page performance and traffic sources. You can also look at key data, such as time on site and pages per visit, to make sure your audience is enjoying your content and spending more time on your site.
Once you have this information, now you need time to improve upon it. Look at your best and worst performing content: What did it do right and what did it do wrong? How can you tailor your future content to match the high-performing articles? Use Google Analytics to set goals for growth and improvement so you’re always attracting new fans.
It’s OK if you don’t like some of the tools suggested here. People like their own tools and eventually find what they need to make their content perform. We recommend downloading a few apps for each of these sections and testing them to see which ones have features that you like and which ones slow you down. You can see exactly what’s offered in the content creation world and tailor these tools to your way of working. Remember, tools should lower your stress and work levels, so don’t be afraid to drop them and replace them with others if they’re making your job harder.